Skip to main content

Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

See other formats

" The change in London indicates a true revolution, the Polish people
have regained their voice . . .

"Arciszewski's Government has come into being not to beg, but to fight
for the integrity and independence of the country ... its programme is the
programme of the Polish people., and it has the same will to fight to the end
as the people and the Army are fighting."

Churchill^ realising all the implications behind this change in the Polish
Government, and the determination expressed by its formation, made no
attempt to contact it. The long exerted pressure on the previous Polish
Governments had proved useless, and the objective (to get the Poles to
voluntarily surrender) had not been achieved. It seemed that the victim
had managed to slip from the trap. The British Prime Minister's
reference to the Polish Government in the House of Commons was
accompanied by criticism, while the British Press did not have a good
word to say for it. And from that time, Churchill, ignoring the Polish
Government, sought the opportunity and the means to create another one,
more compliant with the British Foreign Office. To this end, he did
not hesitate to approach any politician among the Polish circles who stood
in opposition to the existing Government. " It was enough for one of
the former Polish Ministers to publicly announce his disapproval of the
policy of his Government, and Churchill two days later found one hour
in which to confer with him, although he could not in two months find
time to approach the Polish Government/* commented Polish Thought.

I ask your pity—for I am afraid
To meet your thoughts, my friend, my steadfast friend,
Who stood when others shrank from us and failed;
Who stood—and to this end !
I ask your pity: shame is hard to bear,
What we have bought is paid at bitter cost.
You—serf or exile—yet may keep your pride
And cry, as once the broken Valois cried,
That all is lost save—that which we have lost *
(Cicely Hamilton, " To Any Pole," The Weekly Review,
December 21, 1944).
For some months, Churchill's Government was unwilling to publicly
discuss the Polish problem, but finally the pressure exerted by Moscow
on the Poles through the medium of the British, together with the deter-
mined attitude of the Poles, brought the whole question into the open,
The explanations of the British Government up till then had been evasive
and ambiguous, and Downing Street made every effort to convince the
House of Commons and the Press that any disclosure of the reality of the
situation in Eastern and Central Europe, particularly of Moscow's action